At the NAMM 2023 Show, Marc at Sunnaudio showed us and played for us the prototype of the company’s new Sunnaudio R2D3 Helion Preamp EQ, a bass-oriented, high-end Swiss army device that works well also on guitar and any other instrument with a pickup.
A 3-way parametric EQ section lets you precisely sculpt your tone, while the Focus knob adjusts sub-harmonic frequencies, and the Drive knob (which can be triggered by the 2nd footswitch) injects saturation when needed, with an extra Tone knob placed after it to shape its color. The Rabid knob will take the drive’s distortion to the next level, bordering on fuzz tones at high settings.
This pedal has 1/4” and Balanced XLR output, with the latter featuring an independent signal mode for console connection.
Sunnaudio R2D3 Helion Preamp EQ, Builder’s Notes
The Helion r2d3 is a super versatile bass oriented preamp that still offers multiple tonal features for various instruments. The r2d3 works for bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar with passive or active pickups, electric violin, cello, and just about any other acoustic-electric instrument.
What you get is:
- Multi instrument Preamp Saturation with 5 Meg and 700K input impedance
- Parametric EQ with adjustable frequency for Bass, Mid and Treble. Selectable tuned EQ or shelving mode for speaker SIM
- Balanced XLR and 1/4” output. XLR has independent signal mode for console.
- Articulate saturation that smoothly sweeps from “clean” to “saturation” to “over-drive”
- Adjustable Rabid™ for even more distortion/gain that tips into fuzz tones
- “Focus” adjusts sub-harmonic frequencies to inject back into Clean from overdrive circuit, add to your bass signal, or contour your over driven guitar sound
- “Tone” for mid shaping the overdrives
- Insert TRS jack.
- Transformer-less, and quiet*
- Bypass or Mute mode for footswitch
- Separately selectable signal points for XLR Output
- External 9-12v DC, XLR phantom, and battery power
*Higher gain overdrive settings can introduce some interference from certain pickups and situations.